On Sept 10, 2008, the state of Texas is scheduled to execute Charles Dean Hood despite the fact that his trial judge and the DA who prosecuted him were having an affair at the time of Hood’s trial.
Click here to urge Governor Perry to stop the execution of Charles Hood.
Read more about the relationship in Alan Berlow’s Salon.com article.
On Sunday, Aug 21, 2008, Houston Chronicle columnist Rick Casey wrote,
On June 3, Hood’s lawyers obtained a sworn statement from a lawyer who had worked in the Collin County district attorney’s office at the time of the trial in 1990. The former assistant DA, Matthew Goeller, said it was “common knowledge in the district attorney’s office” that DA Tom O’Connell and Judge Verla Sue Holland were involved in a long-running affair.
The courts have clearly held that the constitutional right to due process includes a trial in which the judge is not, figuratively or literally, in bed with the prosecutor.
The ABA Code of Judicial Conduct provides that “A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Where there is doubt, a judge is obliged to disclose information that lawyers might consider relevant to the question of disqualification.
The judge in Hood’s case did not disclose the affair with the prosecuting attorney.
Charles Hood deserves a new trial in which the judge is not having an affair with the prosecuting attorney.
Please compose a message in your own words. Form letters are not effective.You can also express your sympathy for the familes and loved ones of Tracie Wallace and Ronald Williamson.
You can also leave Governor Perry a phone message at: 512-463-2000, fax him at 512-463-1849 (his fax line is often busy, so just keep trying) or write him at:
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428